‘P.N. Writers & Co’ have recently won a case of trademark infringement and passing off against their competitors ‘ Writers Packers & Movers Pvt Ltd’ at the Bombay High Court. ‘P.N. Writers’ (plaintiff) submitted that it has a trademark in the term ‘Writer’ and provides its services through its divisions, Writer Relocations and Writer Information Management Services. Writers Packers and Movers Pvt Ltd (defendant) engages in similar functions as the Plaintiff. Plaintiff submitted that as the Defendant was infringing on its trademark, it had served a cease and desist notice on the Defendant in August 2012. Consequently, Plaintiff did not come across the Defendant’s services under the Trademark. As a result, Plaintiff did not sue for infringement of trademark. However Plaintiff has recieved emails from the customers of the Defendant’s services complaining about their quality. Plaintiff submitted that such instances were seriously and prejudicially damaging the goodwill and reputation of the Plaintiff.
The Court held that there was indeed a patent deceptive similarity between the trademark and the trading names of Plaintiff and Defendant. The Court agreed with the Plaintiff’s submission that there was no reason for the Defendant to adopt an identical trademark and a deceptively similar trading name beyond trading upon the “enviable goodwill and reputation” of the Plaintiff’s trademark. Thus, the Court held that there was a prima facie case of trademark infringement and passing off in this case. Consequently, the Court issued temporary injunctions against the Defendants from employing the trademark ‘Writer’ with respect to their services.